Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Athletes have major food concerns

Athletes have major food concerns

Hiring personal chefs to avoid possible hazards
Feb 12, 2008 04:30 AM

Simon Whitfield and his triathlon teammates plan to bring their own chef named Cosmo – whose specialties include yam omelettes and fennel french fries – to the Beijing Olympics this summer.

Hurdler Perdita Felicien is pretty sure she'll hire her own cook, too.

And the Americans will be able to dine on three nutrition-packed meals a day at the U.S. Olympic Committee's training centre at Beijing Normal University.

The reason for the extra care is multifold: Fear of food-borne illnesses in China, a desire to ensure proper nutrition and the fact some athletes and teams are staying outside the athletes' village.

There's also the worry that tainted food could lead to a positive drug test. A caterer working for the USOC told the New York Times of finding a half chicken breast measuring 14 inches while shopping in a Chinese supermarket that could have fed a family of eight.

"We had it tested and it was so full of steroids that we never could have given it to athletes," Frank Puleo told the Times. "They all would have tested positive."

Adds Whitfield: "That's an eye-opener right there and I'm sure it will factor into how we try and approach it."

More at the Toronto Star

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